The RMIT University Student Union (RUSU) has purchased six condom dispensers in a bid to provide more students with easier access to free condoms.
Prior to the dispensers, condoms and lubricants were available in fishbowls located around the four campuses—including the Queer and Womyn’s Rooms and at student services front counters.
Thea Lamaro, Compass Project Officer, said the dispensers will be more efficient because previous methods required an office to be open and staffed. This not only limited students’ access to the condoms to business hours but “put some people off coming in as they don’t want to be seen collecting their dingers”.
“The new condom dispensers will be permanently fixed in discreet public locations that are accessible at all hours and don’t require that you see anybody while you take as many condoms as you need,” Lamaro said.
Starting from this semester, Compass and RMIT Student Services will be counting the amount of condoms dispensed at each location to gain an understanding of how successful the dispensers are. Lamaro said both condoms
and lubricants had been popular in the past, running out on a regular basis.
GLYDE Health, the creators of the new dispenser, hope it will curb students grabbing large handfuls of condoms in an anxious rush rather than only taking what they require. But Lamaro said the rationale behind buying the dispensers was not
to reduce the amount of condoms students are taking.
“I tend however to believe that condoms are like tampons and once you start needing them, you can never really have too many,” she said.
Lamaro said that as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as chlamydia are increasing in the population, providing access to free safe-sex products is “one good way of tackling these issues”.
“RUSU also provides safe sex and STI information around many locations on campus and has run outreach programs such as ‘Lets Talk About Sex Day’ to try and bring awareness to our student body,” Lamaro said.
By Allison Worrall